Thursday, June 19, 2003

Throwing the Book at 'Em

It's apparently a small book:
Intent to send a message to the pipeline industry, U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein gave a six-month prison term — the maximum — to Frank Hopf, 55, the executive in charge of Olympic when its pipeline ruptured on June 10, 1999.

The explosion that followed fatally burned Wade King and Stephen Tsiorvas as they played in a Bellingham park. Liam Wood, 18, fishing in a nearby creek, was overcome by fumes and drowned.
Oh, and this was time such a sentence was handed down in pipeline industry history. Hopf was found guilty of "willful safety violations" in connection with the spill. But he only snuffed out three lives. It's not like the guy made $43,000 dumping stock:
If convicted of all counts, Stewart faces up to 30 years in prison and $2 million in fines.
Tell me how businesses are punitively overregulated in this country again?